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Presents a completely new approach to and reconsideration of Montaigne’s skepticism
Leads to a re-evaluation of different aspects of the skeptical tradition since the ancient times
Reveals the real importance of skepticism in Montaigne’s philosophical stance
This book examines the work of Michel de Montaigne, considering his Essays as a whole. Building on the premise that Montaigne was an important part of the skeptical crisis but that his skepticism was not shaped by Sextus Empiricus, the book first describes the history of skepticism. It then shows that Montaigne is closer to the Academic skepticisms than to the absolute skepticism of Pyrrhonism, and that the Christian tradition left a more important mark in Montaigne’s Essays than originally thought. Through this exploration of Montaigne’s original and complex work, the book reveals Montaigne’s affinity with Socrates and Saint Augustine. It examines the powerful currents of skepticism that permeated different traditions during the Middle Ages and reveals the potential debt to Greco-Roman antiquity of these traditions. In addition, the book explores their influence in the recovery and transmission of skepticism in the early modern period. The book shows how Montaigne believed in the possibility of real knowledge, even if he despaired of achieving it in one person’s life: he was a skeptic who believed in the existence of truth and he sought that truth through the medium of the essay.
Content Level »Research
Keywords »Absolute skepticism - Academic skepticism - Epistemology on Montaigne - History of skepticism - Michel de Montaigne - Modern Philosophy - Montaigne’s Essays - Montaigne’s skepticism - Pyrrhonism - Saint Augustine - Sextus Empiricus - Skeptical tradition - Skepticism in the early modern period - Socrates